HIV-Positive Performer Suspects Transmission at Fla. Shoot, AIM Responds

Dec 8, 2010 12:45 PM PST
LOS ANGELES — HIV-positive performer Derrick Burts revealed during an AIDS Healthcare Foundation press conference that he suspects he contracted HIV during a gay shoot in Florida where another performer ejaculated onto his back and semen leaked into his anus.

Burts goes by the name Cameron Reed for straight shoots and Derrick Chambers for gay shoots.

At the press conference, Burts, who grew up in Hemet and Whittier and worked as a front office supervisor at a Marriott hotel in Anaheim, Calif., said that he received conflicting reports from AIM in regards to how he contracted HIV.

In previous reports, AIM said Burts acquired the virus “through private, personal activity” but according to Burts, later changed its story.

“On Oct. 23, AIM confirmed that I did a shoot with a confirmed positive, [that I didn’t get it] through my personal life,” Burts said.

Burts said that he felt AIM didn’t care about his situation. He said he waited for more than six weeks after the positive test result for AIM to refer and link him with a doctor or another health care provider for follow up care.

“No one should have to wait six weeks after an HIV diagnosis to be linked into care," said Dr. Laveeza Bhatti, an HIV care provider at AHF and Burts’ physician.

"It is extremely important that as soon as a diagnosis is made that the patient be referred to an appropriate place for evaluation and medical treatment. In many cases immediate treatment is of the utmost importance and waiting can have very negative consequences for the patient. Fortunately, Mr. Burts was able to get all his tests and evaluation done as soon as he came to AHF. As he was diagnosed early, he has favorable disease markers."

Burts, who has been in porn for seven months, said AIM advised him not to speak with the media and not to contact AHF, at which point he said he suffered an emotional breakdown on Nov. 24.

“I was scared for my life,” he said.

That’s when he decided to contact the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to get treatment.

[update 3:45 p.m.]

"Despite Patient Zeta’s self-identification and sharing of information regarding HIV status and test results and the HIV status of a person identified as a girlfriend, AIM is bound by California and federal statutes to protect the medical privacy of patients," AIM attorney Jeffrey Douglas said.

"AIM remains committed to providing screening and testing services to performers as well as our civilian population while maintaining medical privacy. AIM’s statements made to the media and every report to the California Department of Public Health were based upon the information provided by Patient Zeta to AIM.

The statement said that as part of AIM’s standard protocols, Patient Zeta was offered counseling, documentation of test results, information and direction regarding resources and treatment.

"Any statements made by Patient Zeta which portray AIM as not providing appropriate and proper services are not truthful and are self-serving," the statement said.

"AIDS Healthcare Foundation, has a history of aggressive and hostile actions against AIM, and the most distressing aspect of this situation is that Patient Zeta is simply being manipulated for AHF’s own purposes and in furtherance of their agenda."

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